It is important to line up your sales and marketing efforts so that they are working cohesively together. One of the easiest ways to do that is through the practice of lead scoring. By determining if a prospect is ready to make a purchase, the marketing team can help the sales team create a better close. 3 out of 4 prospects aren’t ready to buy yet, but for the other 25%, if you aren’t lead scoring and passing these prospects along, they are going to the competition.
1. Why Should Lead Scoring Be Considered?
A sales team could see thousands of leads in any given quarter. Lead scoring helps by assigning a tangible number to each prospect that is reflective of where they are in the sales funnel. If you create a lead scoring scale that is 0-100, then a score of 10 would be reflective of someone who is just starting to think about the goods or services being offered. Someone with a score of 90, on the other hand, is about ready to make a purchase.
You can start lead scoring today by implementing some of this concept’s best practices into your current structure. Many leads are scored based on the actions that they take as they interact with your company. In the 0-100 score example, for instance, you might assign these actions with a certain amount of points.
- Clicking a link in an e-mail: 5 points.
- Completing a contact form for more information: 10 points.
- Visiting a FAQ page about a specific product: 5 points.
- Spending time on your company’s blog page: 3 points.
2. Make Sure That You Include BANT Questions
BANT questions are pretty basic: budget, authority, need, and timing. These questions are also integral to the lead scoring best practices that you are trying to implement. A prospect with the budget to make a purchase today might be given 10 points. The desire to purchase within 3 months might be given 5 points. Not having any money, but wanting to stay in contact if money grows on trees miraculously might be worth 1 point.
The authority to purchase is the greatest lead scoring factor in the BANT questions. It is not uncommon for someone unauthorized to make a purchase to start the lead process on behalf of their manager. Sometimes people will make contact because they want more specific information. People who don’t have the authority to make a purchase should always be give a score of 0.
If they hand you over to an authorized representative who can make a purchase, then change the score to something more appropriate.
Need and timing can generally be grouped together. Someone who needs your item right now might be given 50 points. You could then lower that value based on their interactions with your site and staff.
3. Negative Numbers Can Also Be Assigned
Most businesses have a specific customer segment they are targeting. The specific features of each segment that are most attractive to you should receive the highest amount of points. If you are selling POS software, for example, you might assign 10 points to a lead who happens to be an IT Director or Manager. On the other hand, an accountant looking at your POS software might be assigned a point value of -5.
Why the negative value? Because it is unlikely that the accountant has the authority to make a purchase outright. The IT Director, on the other hand, likely will.
Values can even be assigned based on a lead’s location. If you’re targeting the US Midwest, then a lead from Wisconsin might be assigned a 10 point value. Someone from Colorado, on the other hand, might still be a viable lead – but is outside the targeted territory. They might be assigned a 5 point value because of this.
4. Anything Can Have a Value Assigned To It
B2B lead scoring might include the size of the business or how many employees it currently has. The type of company it is, such as a heathcare company, can have a value assigned to it. The amount of money they’re trying to spend, their frequency of spending, or even the amount of time it takes to respond to an email can all have scores attributed to them.
Anything can have a value assigned to it. What matters most is that the attributes fit with your targeted customer segments or the actions taken are designed to take a lead through your sales funnel.
The best practices for lead scoring are to make sure every action taken and every attribute a lead has is given a specific value. When that happens, you’ll be able better find the 1 in 4 leads who wants to make a purchase right now.